Saturday, December 24, 2011

Paying It Forward

Here's another kindness we may want to consider as we are out and visiting our sick family or friends during Christmas. Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas! ~ Love and Hugs, Kat

My mom was recently hospitalized at a local inner city hospital that requires visitors to pay for parking. I cannot fault the organization for accepting revenue for parking when it is difficult to find adequate spaces to park at many hospitals.

As I was leaving I was reflecting on how very fortunate I am that she is improving daily and that I have a job and can afford to pay for parking.

Having a family member or someone you care about to be in a hospital is difficult enough, many folks are grieving or afraid so to extend a small favor like a parking fee, maybe would help just a bit.

So as I left, I gave the parking lot attendant double the parking fee each time I visited and asked her to use the extra money to pay for the next person in line's parking. I have no idea if the person behind me felt any better about the "free parking" but I did!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Anonymous Donors are Making Christmas

At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers' layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn't afford, especially toys and children's clothes set aside by impoverished parents. Click the link below to read the full story! Just another way to spread the joy of Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Experience Christmas Presence

I have had the fortunate insight to see Christmas for what it should be, giving. Giving to those who are around us and hurting. This Christmas isn't about elaborate dinners or more presents for those that have more than enough, it's about extending ourselves to those in need. Families that are hanging on by a thread, but don't ask for anything, people out of work that we can help with a meal or two or a grocery gift card, a lonely person this Christmas that doesn't have a family Christmas to attend. Let's open ourselves up, step outside of our comfort zones and show the world what Christmas really means, let's be the hands, feet and smiles full of love for those that need to see it the most.

This is what Jesus meant when He came into the world to save us all from sin, it was a gift undeserved but desperately needed. Even though we didn't ask for it, God extended this to us gracefully filled with love. So this Christmas, please, extend yourselves to those in need around you. Guaranteed, there is someone out there with worse than you have it. Trust me!

God will return the favor too!

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

And again a reminder from Jesus in Matthew 25: 34-40

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I say it's time to practice what we know and start getting out there and helping. Isn't that what the real spirit of Christmas is all about?

Monday, December 12, 2011

A great reminder for life!

Charles Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, who was a jet pilot during the Vietnam War. After seventy-five combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb safely ejected and parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in a Communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on the lessons he learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

Somewhat surprised, Plumb asked, "How in the world did you know that?

The man replied, "I packed your parachute."

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked."

"It sure did. If the chute you packed hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today!" Plumb responded.

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. He says, "I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you, or anything else, because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor."

Today when Plumb speaks professionally, he asks audiences, "Who's packing your parachute?"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Never Giving Up Hope

Not all acts of kindness have to be well-thought out or planned. Here's one perfect example of how going above and beyond provided a family with the perfect gift. ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat


Last week, I was out getting the mail and noticed a dog crossing the street that looked oddly familiar. I went near the dog to see if it had a tag or if I recognized it to see if I could find the owner. When I got close to the dog, I realized that that same dog was the dog that my neighbors had lost 4 years ago.

A few months ago, these neighbors moved out of my neighborhood, but that wasn't going to stop me finding them! I remembered they moved to Minnesota. I spent the rest of the day searching all of the people with their last name in the Minnesota area. Finally when I was starting to give up hope, I called the last number. I couldn't believe it, it was them!

I told them of how I found their dog that went missing 4 years ago..They thought it was to good to come true. They immediately flew down to Florida to re-unite with their dog, and were absolutely shocked. They told me God has answered their prayers. They offered me a fairly large reward, and even though I really needed the money. I said no. Seeing the happy faces of them with their dog was as rewarding as it could get.!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kindness on a Budget

In light of these hard economic times where people are literally hanging on by a thread, I thought I would pass along some ideas to help us keep the acts of kindness in our daily actions~


It never ceases to amaze me how generous people who post on this site are. From those who are fortunate enough to be able to use some of their money to help others, people making things for others, or just giving up a moment of their time to someone in need. But what I would like to do here is offer some ideas on how to bring kindness into other people’s lives without needing to spend money.

So here I offer some ideas for acts of kindness that only need you, your hands, your knowledge or your ears.

1. Help strangers find their way. This is one I try to do every day if I can. Here in London we have some useful information panels scattered around with maps of the local area on them. If ever I see someone looking at the panel, or just looking at a map anywhere near where I work, I’ll go up and offer to help them find their way.

2. Make something for a stranger or a child. I love making mandalas using a compass and colored pens, but I don’t always have them with me and each mandala can take a while to complete. So I needed something quicker and easier and I found instructions for making origami jumping frogs!! ( After a little practice I can now make them on the bus, or anywhere I find myself (there are eight lined up on my desk right now!) to have ready to give away. My friend and I were out for dinner a couple of weeks ago and we had a lovely family sitting behind us. We helped take a photo for them at the table and I realized they were the perfect recipients for the frogs (two kids of 6-10). It only took me a few minutes and as we were leaving I was able to give them to them and show them how to make them jump. The kids were thrilled and the parents happy too! In fact I have not come across anyone who doesn’t love them, even my 90 year old Grandmother!

3. Do something kind for a relative or loved one. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I know a lot of us do not often think of our relatives or loved ones when it comes to doing acts of kindness. And these are the people who are the dearest to us of all!! So what can you do? Spend some time listening to one of your relations, one who maybe doesn’t get listened to as much as they would like. Take someone out for the afternoon, someone who might not get out as much as they used to or who just needs a little break from it all. Write a card/letter/e-mail to one of your relatives and tell them how much they mean to you and why you appreciate some of the things they have done for you down the years. Take some time out from your day and tell your loved one why they mean the world to you and how happy you are to have them in your life!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Even Small Things Matter

Once again going through some incredible email and came across this simple act of kindness that made a big difference in the life of someone and had to pass it along. I hope it speaks volumes today as we rush to get our "to do" lists complete before Christmas, and may we always find time to help others out! Love and Hugs ~ Kat


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." -- Albert Einstein

Idea of the Week

"I work with a lady from India. Sometimes, its hard for her to socialize with the others at work because of her strong accent. Last week, she was sitting all alone in the Living Room, while the others were involved in a Christmas activity. I asked her if she would like to join the others and she said no. I asked her why, she said "I can't do what they are doing." I told her sure you can. So I took her over - they were putting Christmas stickers on clothes pins. I gave her some clothes pins and stickers and we began doing what the others were doing. When she did just one, I gave her praise after praise. All she could do was smile. And the most amazing thing to me was what she said that melted my heart. She said, "Thank you dear. You make me feel like a little kid, in school again, God bless you." At that point she took my hand and kissed it. I was over joyed!!! I left her to finish and when I walk away, I could feel the calmness all around me. I made a difference in her life that day."

Monday, November 28, 2011

How Far Would You Go?

I got this in my email this morning as one of those you read and say, "Ahhh!" So I just knew I had to share this with you. Often times we wonder just how we can extend ourselves especially in these hard, economic times and this is a perfect way to help for FREE! I hope you enjoy it~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat


Many years ago I lived in a western country. My very first job saw me employed in the city and I was thrilled to commute to the office by public transport! I had never been employed before and my chances of traveling on a bus by myself had always been very remote.

So, I was very happy with my new lifestyle!

I left home each morning in time to catch the 8.05 bus from the main road. One Autumn morning I could see the bus approaching. I could also see an elderly lady walking with an adorable dog beside her. There were some youngsters behind her.

The bus arrived and we got on. Unlike in eastern countries only eight passengers were permitted to travel standing. I was inside the bus when the conducter called, "Only eight standing passengers! Could the last one to get on please get off?" I saw those youngsters inside, right in front of me, and it occured that they had skipped the queue!

I thought it was me who now had to get off. I turned and saw the elderly lady with her dog about to get off instead. I moved quickly to get in front of her. I encouraged her to stay and got off knowing very well I would be late that morning, but it didn't bother me.

I hadn't noticed at the bus stop. It was only as I moved past her to get off the bus that I realised - she was blind! Her adorable companion was her guide dog!

Well, I eventually got to the office. After the day's work I went to the bus stand in front of my office to make the return journey. What a pleasant surprise! The lady and her dog were there! I was really pleased because I would get a better chance to speak with her. I opened the conversation and she recognized my Asian accent! She asked if I was the same person who helped her that morning. Amazing! From there onwards it was one long happy conversation.

The bus arrived, we got on, and were able to choose any seat as the bus was empty. Knowing that it would make things easy for her I suggested we sat on the long side way seats with her guide dog between us.

Our journey started, and so did her story.

She told me that her husband was a World War Two veteran. He had lost his left arm and part of his left leg in the war. She told me that 10% of the government jobs were reserved for disabled people (at that time) and preference was always to the spouses of war veterans. Because of this they were managing with her salary and his pension.

About half way through the journey the conductor called out again. "NO STANDING ... GET OFF! GET OFF!" Now what?

I looked around only to see the very same youngsters being unruly again! Now it was their turn to be put off the bus!

We arrived at our destination, her special companion on one side and her new-found companion on the other. I helped her cross the road to where an elderly, broad shouldered gentleman with an artificial leg was waiting for her.

It really touched my heart to see how the three of them, helping each other, walked on into the distance. But before we parted I offered to be there every morning and evening to help her get on the bus. Her husband was very pleased with this as it was a real effort for him to walk that far.
Eventually I returned to my home country. Before that I always wondered how they would manage as she had gotten used to me being there? To my delight her retirement arrived just before my departure.

These beautiful memories are still fresh in my mind. When I walk back down memory lane encounters like this one fill my heart with peace and contentment!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Make Invisible People Feel Visible!

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. ~G.K. Chesterton

Idea of the Week

Four years ago I decided to make it my gift to those around me that I express to them how much they mean to me..... not JUST my friends and family, but all the people I encounter in my day. That included the baggers at the grocery store, the cashiers at the pharmacy, the bus driver, the garbage pickup man, the mailman, and many others. The more invisible the person (like the garbage pick up man), the more I focused on them. I complimented them on their work, how grateful I was for their contributions to my life, and how appreciative I was for their kindnesses to me. As a result of that single campaign, I am now on a wave-at basis with so many of these individuals! It wasn't that I did anything special; it was that I noticed how special THEY were, and told them so. Who doesn't like to hear that about themselves? I simply wanted to give of my heart and my time to acknowledge how special they were to me.......but in the end, I got WAY more than I ever gave. And now they bring that fabric to life! How blessed I feel with every wave, every smile, every "how ya doing?

Friday, November 11, 2011

It Takes Two to Feed A Hungry Soul

I wanted to share a story that showed up in my email this morning even though the author is unknown. I hope you enjoy it and in return take something away that will touch your heart. Happy Veteran's Day!

Earlier this week, a friend of mine in Toronto, who I will refer to as "M" wrote about her recent experience on the way to work. "M" has been experimenting with acts of kindness and has been challenging her prior beliefs and attitudes toward it - this experience below provides a glimpse of her transformative inner journey and serves to inspire others as many of us can relate to her inner dialogue. Enjoy:

Any passenger on the subway who caught a glimpse of me may have already thought that I was strange as I was smiling while reading Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground. In particular this one gentleman sitting diagonal from me was staring at me, at the cheese bun on the floor in front of me, and then back at me. “Next stop, St. Patrick Station” – my stop was quickly coming up. I had minutes to either take the cheese bun, which nobody else was claiming (as a passenger probably dropped it by mistake and got off at a previous stop), or leave it there and hope that it didn’t go to waste.

In those few minutes I felt my pride getting in the way. “What would other people on this subway think of me if I took the cheese bun? Would they think that I wanted it for myself? Would they think that I was poor and hungry? Would they think that I’m stealing?”

The ignorant thing to do was say “yes” to any of those self-imposed questions, which would only justify my ego and not put my self in an uncomfortable position. But then I’d get off the subway, walk a block up the street to my office, get settled at my desk, and despite feeling comfortable, warm, and being well-fed myself for the whole day, there would be a weight of guilt and regret weighing on my consciousness.

My thoughts were pushing me towards pride and ignorance when the truth was evident: this missing cheese bun is a gift. For a homeless person who is hungry and cold in this morning’s -25 degree weather. For me to overcome a little bit of ego and pass along so much kindness that has been selflessly given to me. For both the homeless person and me to connect (earlier this week I gave a homeless man a bag of peanuts but I didn’t even make an effort to say hello or connect with him which I felt really bad about). It was clear that the homeless person who would receive this cheese bun needed it just as much as I did.

I remembered Lila Watson’s words: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time; but if you are here because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."

Just as the doors opened at my stop I grabbed the cheese bun and exited the subway. It felt awesome and I didn’t care if people were looking or what they thought. Instead of going directly to my office as usual, I walked a few more blocks up to Queen’s Park where I have seen a homeless man sitting outside many times on my walk from the gym to my office. I always wanted to give him something. There he was this morning, wrapped in a sleeping bag, wearing a baseball cap with the word “Jesus” stitched on, and his makeshift cardboard sign propped up behind two Tim Horton’s cups for spare change.

I sat down to his level, smiled, and said good morning. He was receptive and just started talking. His name is Wayne and he’s from the east coast of Canada. He looked clean but very cold as his cheeks and nose were red. When I asked him if he knows about Hope Shelter five minutes away on College Street, he cringed and began to describe the shelter situation to me – how unsanitary they are, how there are so many drug addicts there, and how the beds and services are horrible. Like many homeless people, he prefers being on the street. He has been sober and clean for three years, sits alone on the streets to stay away from the addicts, and goes to a job training agency every afternoon. He is really trying to make a better life for himself and get off the street.

Wayne told me how hundreds of people walk by him every morning without even glancing at him, as if he didn’t exist. He just wants to be acknowledged. He was thankful for the cheese bun that I gave him as he tucked it under his sleeping bag for later.

I didn’t expect to receive anything from him but he told me something that I hadn’t realized I needed to hear. With his genuine and kind tone, he reassured me that even if I had nothing to give him, just say hello.

That really eased a lot of the stress that I often have when it comes to giving to others. Sometimes I don’t give anything because I don’t have spare change or food, and I just walk past homeless people with a look of longing…longing to give them something. This morning Wayne reminded me that even when I don’t have money, even when I don’t have food, even when I don’t have anything, I can give myself. I can say hello in recognition that we exist together. So thank you, Wayne, for making me feel full, warm, and comfortable. The cheese bun pales in comparison to the fullness in my soul because of you. I hope you have a great day and I will definitely say hello next time! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stop, Look and Listen

I got this story in my email this morning and had to share it because I think it's relevant to our time and our generation. With everything going so quickly, I think we forget the most important things in our day, people! Let us learn from this lesson to Stop, Look and Listen every single day. It may be the most important thing we do all day. ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Its never too late to be what you might have been. -- George Elliot

Idea of the Week

"I was just in town and standing in front of a store. A bearded man came by and politely asked another man who was passing by, "Excuse me, can you help me?" This other man, much more affluent by the look of his clothes, replied in a very rude and abrupt tone, "I dont have time for that right now!!" and kept walking. I suppose he thought the bearded man was going to ask him for money. But that wasn't the case. After he stomped off this man turned to me and asked the same question. It turned out all he wanted was for someone to unclip a watch that was clipped to the back of his pack so he could go in and buy a battery for it. Not a huge request. I was glad to be able to help after the first man had treated him so rudely. This experience reminded me how important it is to stop, look, and listen."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Angels Everywhere!

Passing along some great advice I discovered in my email this morning. May we all take the time to be aware of whose around us and who can use just an extra touch of help! ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Years ago, when my daughter was an infant, I was traveling alone cross-country to join my husband.

I had a small sports car crammed full of household items, clothing, and one baby car-seat.
After driving for many miles, in an attempt to drive straight through, I was tired and needed to stop for a bathroom break.

The rest area was mostly deserted, on an isolated stretch of Interstate highway. I parked the car and carried my infant daughter, in her car-seat, into the restroom. Coming out again I saw a middle-aged couple hanging around. It turned out they were waiting for us!

The lady said, "We wanted to wait for you to come out and see you safely back into your car. Sometimes rest areas can be an unsafe place for a young lady. We have a daughter almost your age and we wanted to make sure you got safely back on your way".

I was very touched by their consideration. Being young, and probably naive to the potential dangers of rest areas, it had never occurred to me that there was any possibility of something going wrong. I thanked them for their kindness.

My daughter and I continued our journey and reached our destination (and my husband) safely.
I never got their names but thirty years later their kindness is not forgotten. Sometimes angels come in disguise and just because you can't see their wings it doesn't mean they aren't angels!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Remembering Our Elderly

I got this story as an email today and wanted to share it with my readers because I have seen this happen first hand, not in my own family but in the life of someone close to me. Let us never forget that we too will grow old and let us teach the younger generation that as we age we are not disposable! We have life yet to live! Enjoy and would love to hear your thoughts on this!

As you probably know Nepal a small country full of diverse religions and populations.
As the daughter of a Hindu family there are many aspects of my religion that I have to bear in mind. But, even while keeping such strictures in mind, I want to be ale to live a life of kindness to others.

When I was sixteen my friends and I were going to watch a movie. We sat waiting for the bus but it was very late. While we were waiting another bus came by and a old lady of about seventy got off. She had bags full of her possessions in one hand and a walking stick in the other.

After a few minutes I noticed that she seemed to be looking for something. She approached a shopkeeper for help - but it wasn't forthcoming. So, I went over and asked, "What's the matter grandmother?"

She told me she was searching for the big temple because she had heard they would take her in and care for her for rest of her life.

I was suprised, to say the least. I asked her, "Don't you have your sons and daughters to take care of you?"

"I have no one in the world to look after me," she replied.

I knew I just had to ask my friends to wait for me and I walked with grandmother all the way to the temple.

I asked her about her family. She told she used to have a happy family. She had two daughters and two sons but as she grew older they started to pass her from one to the other and to see her as an unwelcome burden. Eventually they told her to leave. She begged to stay - but no one wanted to hear.

I took her hand in mine and held it tight as we walked together. She begged me not to be like the children she bore and raised, who eventually cast her out like an unnecessary utensil.

My heart cried hearing grandmother's story. How can such things happened? Why don't people realise that they too will grow older?

Arriving at the temple I left grandmother at the safe place. Her last word and her blessings very much on my mind. "You showed such kindness to me." she said. "Thank you very much for walking with me; for helping me reach the temple. God will bless you in every step of your life."

She kept her blessing hands on my head and I felt God was talking to me. I waved her bye-bye and I went back to my friends. We watched the films and returned to home.

The first thing I did when I arrived was hug my mom and dad and promise myself, 'I will always be with you, to love and care for you.'

A life of kindness can be inspired by the most unexpected things. Thank you, grandmother, for your blessings and making a real difference in my life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Begin Today!

Too often as we get deeper into our technology we often forget about the human beings right in front of us. Those people who are desperate for contact of any kind, from a simple smile to a wonderful compliment. I thought I would take the time to offer some small ways to be kind to someone and I challenge you all to do ONE thing a day and see what a difference it makes in your OWN life!

Put them into practice and also create your own:-

  1. Send someone a hand written note of thanks.
  2. Make a card at home and send it to a friend for no reason.
  3. Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.
  4. Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter.
  5. Buy a coffee for the car behind you at Starbucks!
  6. Cut your neighbor’s lawn or rake up their leaves.
  7. Walk your friend’s dog.
  8. Give a compliment about your waiter / waitress to his / her manager.
  9. Send someone a small gift anonymously.
  10. Stop and help someone replace their flat tire.
  11. Let someone jump the line at the bank or grocery store.
  12. Pay for the drinks on the next table at a restaurant.
  13. Treat a friend to the movies for no reason.
  14. Give a huge tip to someone when they least expect it.
  15. Hold the door open for someone in a rush.
  16. Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
  17. Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.
  18. Talk to a homeless person and have a “normal” conversation.
  19. Pick up some trash in the road which would otherwise be lying around.
  20. Compliment a work colleague for their excellence, better yet put it in writing.
  21. Recommend a competitor to a potential client.
  22. Give another driver your parking spot.
  23. Give a bottle of water or a soft drink to a delivery person on a HOT day.
  24. Help an elderly neighbor take out the trash.
  25. Tell all your family members how much your appreciate them.
  26. Leave a copy of an interesting book on a train/bus/hotel or in a waiting room.
  27. Buy an inspirational book for a friend and mail or give it to them.
  28. Bake some cookies and leave them with your local nurses station, doctors office, fire or police department.
  29. Smile a lot and look people in the eye and say Hello!
  30. Send a greeting card to someone just because!

What goes around is sure to come around – happy helping :-) Would love to hear your ideas if you want to leave a comment!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gratefulness Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

If you read the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, Dec 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her - a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around - she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate in the New Year -to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making Dreams Come True

I wish more people realized that everyone has a dream. In this case, thanks to Michael Buble who did just this. I can only imagine how proud one mom and her son Sam felt after this moment. Be warned: There is some profanity from Michael Buble but the meaning is of this message is what it meant for Sam!

If you can, encourage someone today to make their dreams a reality! Go for it! Reach for the brass ring! Follow the rainbow! Live your dream!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kindness of Strangers

Sharing a story that just popped in my email and I hope you all enjoy it. A reminder that no deed of kindness goes unnoticed.

"The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring." -- Oscar Wilde

Idea of the Week

"I was six years old and in foster care. My foster mother was not the kind of person I would have chosen to stay with. One morning she sent me to the store for a sack of flour. On the walk back home I was doing what any six year old would have been doing -- playing. Because of that I dropped the sack of flour and it burst open spilling the flour all over the ground. I knew that this meant I would be in big trouble when I got home. A driver saw the distress on my face and pulled over. He came over to me and asked what was wrong. I told him that I would probably get the beating of my life if I went back without the flour I had been sent for. He took me by the hand and led me back to the store where he bought me a new sack of flour - and some candy! Then he wiped my tears and sent me on my way home. I never told my foster mother about the kind gentleman but later twenty-three years old now and I still remember him and his kindness."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Finding New Ways To Help

I got this over the weekend in my email and thought what a great idea. Imagine if more of these popped up all over and we helped one another out in what ways we could as a group effort. I hope you enjoy it and if inspired, let the idea grow. Love and Hugs ~ Kat


I started a Really Really Free Market in my town as a way to bring the community together.
A Really Really Free Market is like a cross between a farmer's market and a garage/yard sale, except everything is free! People show up with stuff to give away and take what they need from other people's abundance.
It took a little while to catch on but now it seems fairly busy and I am trying to make it bigger and more fun so that more people have access to the wonder that is giving without expectation of reward and receiving without being judged.
It runs once a month on a Saturday afternoon and there are clothes, books, plants, biscuits, pasta, fruit, furniture, ornaments - and lots of other stuff. The kids all play together (it's at a park) and sometimes one family brings playdough, beads and colouring-in pictures for the children to play with.
I think it's so important to give people an opportunity to give because everyone, deep down, wants to share and help and give to others - but they don't think of it, or they think it's too hard, or weak or silly somehow. I want the people of my town to realise how awesome sharing with other people is. I also want the people in need to have a fun place to go where everything is free. This way there isn't the social stigma of soup kitchens or charity because it's just people sharing and no one needs to say, "Hey, I'm poor and I need help." They can turn up and go home with food and new clothes and having had a good time.
This was a big thing for me to do because I'm not really that comfortable around lots of people. I have to psych myself up for the week before every market so that I can cope with it all, and sometimes I still panic but I'm getting better.
I thought it was worth the effort because it's such a truly great concept, just like this site! If you have a Really Really Free Market near you please go check it out. If you don't have one then why not look it up online and start your own!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kindness from the Ice Cream Man

Here's another great way to show simple kindness and one I never considered until I read this in my email. Now I know I'll keep some spare change just in case the next time the ice cream man comes calling!

The other day, I decided to come home early because it was such a beautiful day. The kids were outside playing in my apartment complex and the ice cream truck was whistling its tune. As I drove slowly to avoid an accident, I noticed a little boy looking at the ice cream truck. He didn’t get anything and he walked away with a disappointed look on his face. I asked the ice cream guy what happened and he said the little boy had no money. I had no cash on me so I drove to my building and went upstairs to look for some cash. When I found it the ice cream guy was still waiting but the little boy was not.

I went in the direction I thought he might have gone and I saw a woman getting out of her vehicle. I asked her if she had a little boy and she said yes. She then told me that she and her son had gone to the grocery store the day before and had wanted ice cream but she did not have enough money to buy it.

She quickly went into the house to get her son, and when she returned I realized that he was not the same little boy I had seen. This boy was a bit older and his sister came out with him. I took them both to the truck and let them pick out what they wanted.

I never told the mom it was not the same boy I was talking about. I introduced myself to the mother properly and offered my baby-sitting services free of charge if she ever needed them. I couldn’t find the original boy anywhere but I hope he gets some ice cream soon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Giving Back!

Here's a great way to share in another unexpected way. I am hoping that these ideas will help you do something today to share God's love in unique ways and teach others, what it's like to know and love God and be a Christian! This is a story I received in my email of how one woman found a way to reach out in love and kindness!

This morning, as I got dressed for work, I chose one of my favorite necklaces. I do not wear it often because I want to hold onto it for a long time.

When I got to work, I was walking though a doorway and a woman stopped me and said, “I love your necklace.” I stopped walking to talk to her for a few minutes as she admired it and told me how great it looked on me. I was feeling a bit under the weather and did not feel as though I looked my best. But what she said to me made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

I recalled the many mornings that she has spoken to me with a smile and then remembered something that my mom taught me. “You only give to others things that you would want to have.” As this thought ran through my mind, I unfastened the necklace from around my neck and told her she could have it. She would not take it because I had expressed to her how important it was to me. So I took her by the arm and put the necklace in the palm of her hand.

As I walked off I told her that a blessing given is a blessing received.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Helping out Our Neighbors

Idea of the Week

"A retired gentleman who lives a few doors away from me can occasionally be seen picking up trash. He does it cheerfully and never complains. This morning, I was out walking my dog when I saw another neighbor picking up trash with his kids! When I commented on what a good job they were doing he said, "Well, there's an older fellow in our street who does this. And my friend and I thought it wasn't fair that he had to do it all the time, so now we take a turn." The older gentleman had inspired others to pick up trash by doing it himself! It just goes to show we should be the change we want to see in this world."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

31 Days of Kindness

Here's a delightful way to show just how easy it is to make someone's day a little brighter and spread the love of God in some unique ways just like these women did. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In the Darkest of Times, There's Light!

Here's a great story in teaching us all that we can all do something today. What will you do? Enjoy!

I was twenty-four years old and three months pregnant when my husband died.

I was a widow and an expectant mother in the same day.

We had bought a new home and I had filled our two bedroom apartment with nursery items in anticipation of moving in. Now the house would be taken away. I knew I would have to go back to my parents' home, at least until I delivered the baby. And the shock of my husband's sudden death had made losing the baby a very real possibility.

I moved back into my old bedroom. My twin bed, a crib and a dresser was all that could fit in the 8 x 10 foot bedroom. The rest of our furniture had to go into storage.

I was able to pay for three months worth of storage and then I would have to sell all the new furniture we had bought for our new home because I wouldn't be able to pay any more storage fees.

I had been told I couldn't grieve my husband's death because the baby was so at risk of delivering early, so I focused on keeping calm. Of course, that wasn't easy - and it only got more difficult! Because I tend not to be a person who shares my troubles much, I had told no one but my sister. She was poorer than me and could only provide moral support. My parents were just making ends meet with another mouth to feed.

Then one day in early January 1971 I received a cashier's check for $500. I had no idea who it was from and no amount of calling the financial institution who issued it gave me any clues. I was saved! We had enough money to pay for the storage rental for nearly another year!
I was so happy I smiled all day - something I hadn't done in months!

Then, on the same day, my husband's boss came to the house saying he wanted to see how I was doing. I told him about the check and he was thrilled for me. I knew I had nothing coming from the company my husband had worked for because he had been there only 6 months. In order to get insurance payments or death benefits you had to be with the company for a year.

The man sat down and pulled out three envelopes. The first was what we were due of my husband's salary for his last month. The second was a bonus check he had earned for the month before (which was originally due to be issued at the end of the year.) And the third was for $10,000, which was his death benefits with the company!

I was incredulous! How could this be? His boss explained the first two checks were due us for services rendered, and he said he used his twenty-eight years with the company to make sure they did the right thing by us.

To this day I don't know how he did it but that money saved us.

After the baby was born (with health issues that required thirteen surgeries in two years,) I was able to stay home with him until he was healthy enough to go to a nursery school with other kids. And it allowed us to move to a little apartment of our own.

In one day we had been saved by two angels with acts of kindness that touched my very soul. It was forty-one years ago but I have never forgotten them or that day.

It was the day I smiled from morning to night!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our Children Learn From What We Do!

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. Let's make sure we are sending the right message to them.
Here's a great story to illustrate this point and one can all learn from. Sometimes its easy to think they don't understand what we are doing but they learn from watching. Enjoy today's story! ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Last week as I pulled into the parking lot with my son for his baseball game, I saw a woman trying to change her flat tire. I told my son I would get him over to his practice field and then I was going back to help the woman change her tire.

When I got back to the parking lot, nobody had stopped to help her. I went over and offered. She tried to be nice and said that she was fine, but I could see otherwise so I insisted. Besides, my mother as she watches me from above would have cut a deal to send a pigeon to deliver a “special present” for me if her son had walked by and done nothing. Another woman parked nearby and said she had some wipes in the car, as I was getting dirty from the tire. She waited for us to finish and then gave us the wipes. I could tell it made her feel good in her own way. There were opportunities for kindness all around!

The best part for me though wasn’t just the fact that I could help. It came after my son’s game was over. As he and I walked to the parking lot he asked me why I went back to help the woman. I told him that it was the right thing to do. When he said to me, “next time Dad I want to help you change a tire” I was reminded that our children learn kindness from us and I will not let them down!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Reaping What We Sow

I spent the morning studying on giving and on sowing and reaping. I realize that God doesn't need anything from us, He merely wants to add to what we have when He asks of something from us. If we don't plant a seed, we can't harvest so its time to begin being a cheerful giver. Here's a classic story of reaping what we sow and I hope it blessed your day as it did mine.

Remember we don't have to give what we don't have but what can you give, time, money, service, then make sure if God calls, we answer with a great attitude and full of grace! Enjoy this story that I found on the internet! Love and Hugs ~ Kat

When I was about 6 years old I lived in Kenya. There was a lot of poverty and there were always street children on the roads asking for money. There was such a big divide between those children and me and I grew up very aware of being so fortunate.

We had a wonderful and very kind driver, John, who had been working with my family for decades. He used to take us to and from school. One day we had to take a detour on the way to school and whilst we were stopped in traffic a young street child, probably no more than 10 years old, called out with a friendly greeting. “Jambo, John!”

He approached the car and shook John’s hand. John then gave him a little bit of money and waved him off with a smile before we carried on our way to school.

I had watched the whole incident from the back seat completely surprised. I knew that John worked very hard to make ends meet. He had a large family himself. We were always sending packets or rice and fruit and other snacks and clothes for his family and I knew that he didn’t have any spare money. So, of course, at that age I couldn’t understand why he would be giving money to the child.

“Who was that I asked?” I asked. “My friend,” he replied, “I see him every morning on my way to work and I give him a little bit of money.” Still unable to comprehend I asked, “Why do you have to give him money every morning?” John replied, “So he can use it to buy some food.”
It was probably in that moment that I understood what kindness really was.

Someone who was in a difficult situation themselves still found some money to spare for a child who needed it. Even at the age of 6 that had such a profound impact on me. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I didn’t have any money, but I wanted to contribute too.

Every Friday we would have dinner at my grandparents’ house and, after dinner, my grandfather would give us a chocolate bar when my mum wasn’t looking. I would save mine up so I could give it to John to give to his friend.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just Being There Helps More Than Words

Here's a great email I received this morning about how sometimes just being there helps more than words ever could. Let us not be too busy today to notice someone in need. May God grant us the grace today to work His blessings through us. ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

I used to work in a hospital as a Pharmacy Technician. As part of our duties we would make rounds of all the nursing stations to pick up orders deliver medication, etc.
On one of my rounds I met an elderly lady. She was sitting outside a room crying. People walked past and saw her crying but nobody offered to help. I stopped and asked if she was okay. She said her husband was in the room - dying.
I asked if I could call anyone or do anything for her but she said she didn't have any family near-by and they never had any kids. So, I just sat there a while, holding her hand and listening to her.
This went on for weeks, me listening and hugging, and her waiting and crying.
Well one day on my rounds I saw her sitting there, not crying. So, I went to sit with her and I asked if everything was okay. She told me that her husband had died the night before. Surprised, I asked her why she was stll here. That's when she said, "I came back to say thank you. Thank you for sitting with me, listening to me and just being there, helping me through this."
I hugged her and wished her well.
I walked away with tears in my eyes and a heart bursting with joy because I had been able to help someone through her darkest days.

Friday, July 29, 2011

You Never Know Who's Watching

Today’s video is a charmer, a sweet moment of kindness from one young boy to another. You just don’t see it that often.

And then it goes to a whole ‘nother level as the kind young man is recognized. It simply shows you the value of kindness in more ways than one. This just goes to show that you never know who's watching you! Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seeing Your Way Through Kindness

Here's yet another great idea to inspire us to reach out in kindness in unique ways. Hope this inspires you! ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

My husband and I have always been friendly with the clerks at the local convenience store where we often get gasoline. I don't think people appreciate what a difficult job these folks have sometimes. They work for a little over minimum wage and I often wonder how they make ends meet.

One of the clerks, "Charlie," was missing her glasses one day. I commented on it and she said they'd been broken and that she couldn't afford a new pair. It was obvious that she was having a difficult time.

We wondered how we could help, so turned to our own eye doctor for assistance with a plan. We had his secretary contact her, asking her to come in for an eye exam free of charge. We told the doctor to let her order whatever glasses she wanted and that we would pay for them. Although Charlie questioned what was going on, the doctor just told her that someone had anonymously donated the money for her new glasses. When we went in to pay the bill, the doctor told us he was so touched by our idea that he waived the exam fee and only charged us for half the price of the glasses!!

It was so wonderful to see Charlie in her new glasses and she enjoyed telling all the regular customers how it came about. I'm sure that upon hearing her story, ideas of kindness may have sprouted in the minds of many. She will never know who the gift was from and I hope the idea that good guys really do get a break sometimes was planted for her.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kindness On An Island

Here's an email I received today showing another unique way we can help out when we are able. What kindness did you share today with someone? Please share by leaving a comment below:

Just recently, there was a man standing near the islands in the gas station when I pulled in. I had recognized him from before, when I saw him trying to cross 4 lanes of traffic with crutches. He still had his crutches with him.

When I got out of the car he politely asked me if he could pump my gas. I said, no thank you and continued on. I started to notice he asked other people the same question, and I realized he was doing it for money, but he wasn't getting any. As I looked at him, he seemed genuinely worn out and running low on energy.

As I passed by him to go inside, he smiled and commented on how hot it was. I agreed, and asked him if he had walked here. He said yes, he is trying to get donations to be able to keep him and his sick wife in a hotel, because that's the only place left for them, besides the street. I went inside the gas station grabbed a couple of cold waters, and went back outside.

As I approached him and handed him the water, he looked at me with teary eyes, then I handed him the change from a twenty. He looked back at me and said, "God Bless You."

My heart felt so good!

I really couldn't afford to give him what I did, but by golly, at least I have the luxury of knowing where I'll be every night. Most people will call me a sucker and I gave into a bum.

I don't believe that. I did what I thought was right.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Grand Slam Story

What would you do? You make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?’

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘Do you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their
team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I
guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.’

Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting
winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all teammates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first! Run to first!’

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third! Shay, run to third!’

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

‘That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’.

Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ways To Help Out on the 4th of July

Harvest of kindness -- of kindredness -- is winnowed down to a precious few grains. For at the center of all spiritual traditions is the beacon of a truly radical proposal: Open your heart to everybody. Everybody.--Marc Barasach

Idea of the Week

Collection of ideas from Smile Groups this week ... "This lady was walking through my neighborhood on such an extremely hot day, realizing there are no bus stops within 5 miles, I made a u-turn and gave her a ride to her destination." "A man held the door for me at a local coffee shop, he was so perky,I bought him a cup of tea." "Forwarded a letter that had gone astray and paid the extra postage!" "Emptied the house -- books, DVDs, etc. Advertised to come and take what you want and leave a donation in the bucket for a local charity." "I heard of a competition that I knew I would definitely get a prize so I entered and put down a friends name and address so that they will get the prize. And it's chocolate!" "Encouraged a guy to come out of his love failure. :)" "I picked lemons from my moms lemon tree and gave them away .. someone going to have delicious fresh lemonade for fathers day!" "Took senior citizen grocery shopping; she was not feeling well enough to drive herself." "Last night I helped some foreigners exchange some money into my country's currency and then my sister and I led them to a hotel. They were lost and didn't speak the language." "Lending out a very expensive canopy to someone in need." "I replaced a drummer in a band that needed one! :)" "Put a dollar inside a book I returned to the library ... for either the library people or the next reader to find."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Faith in the Form of A Gift

Akiane Kramarik began drawing when she was only 4 and began painting when she was only 6. She told her mother that her drawings were inspired by God and that her visions were of a special place. The place was called Heaven and what is most ironic is that both of her parents, at the time, were atheists and neither God nor Heaven had been discussed with her before!

I hope you will share this most amazing story.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Be The Change

Social Media for Social Change

Kecia Cruz's son had been sleeping on a cold linoleum floor since returning to live with his mother nearly two weeks ago. Cruz has served time in prison and her son is a recovering drug addict. Cruz sees her child's return as a second chance. She didn't want him sleeping on the floor, but she didn't know where to turn. Her neighbor had an answer: Beremedy -- an organization that utilizes social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs to streamline the donation of food, clothing and furniture to people in need. The name is a short way to say "you be the remedy for someone in need. Within 15 minutes of posting Cruz's need, a hairstylist with a spare mattress responded. In the spirit of generosity Beremedy connects the dots this way multiple times a day -- every single day. { read more }

Be The Change

Find a way to connect to needs in your own neighborhood.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pursuing Your Dreams No Matter What

I think God brings us to places in His design and in His timing. This is the perfect example of what the enemy wanted to bring about evil in his life, God turned it around and used it for His good and His glory.

You cannot help but be deeply touched by this amazing young man; Sung-bong Choi.

When Sung-bong decided to sing on the Talent Show Korea’s Got Talent he had no idea that he would win the hearts of millions all over the world!

The story of his childhood is so moving that even the judges had a hard time keeping their composure.

He told the judges that even though he didn’t think he could sing very well, he sang because it made him happy.

They couldn’t have been more surprised. He is a true inspiration to the endurance of the heart.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Never to Young To Change Things

How One Teenager Used Her Life Savings

After finishing high school in New Jersey, Maggie Doyne took a gap year during which she did service projects and cultural programs in South Asia. In India, she met a teenage refugee who had escaped Nepal seven years earlier. Maggie felt moved to accompany the girl back to Nepal in search of her family. In the process, she was deeply touched by the orphans she met in the villages. "It was really this rude awakening," Maggie said. "I thought, it only takes $5 admission and $5 for a uniform to put her into school. Why can't I do that?" So Maggie had her parents wire her all $5000 of her life savings, using it to build an orphanage and then a school for children in that remote area. She continues to run it at the ripe age of 24. { read more }

Be The Change

Follow your inner voice and take a small but courageous step today.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Standing by Others

Let this be a reminder that we all will need someone to stand by us in the storms of life, but most importantly, that we should stand by others who are in need as well.

God promises you a safe landing not a calm passage.
If God brings you to it He will bring you through it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Keeping Smiling At The Office

I love it when people find interesting ways to keep people smiling at work. Here's another great idea that would be wonderful to incorporate.

"Kindness is never wasted. If it has no effect on the recipient, at least it benefits the bestower." -- S. H. Simmons

Idea of the Week

"I have been sending out Smile Cards with little gifts around my work place for about six months. Since I place the gifts in our inter-office mailbox, I never know who gets them or see their reactions. As I place gifts in the mail box, I imagine people's reactions and it makes me happy to know that maybe I am making someone's day a little brighter. Today, I actually got to witness the reaction. Apparently, one of the little gifts I left in the mailbox this morning made it's way to a co-worker of mine. Today's gifts was a little cloth kleenex holder that you can leave in your purse and a yarn flower bag tag, so my co-worker, a guy, passed it along to another female co-worker. I heard them talking as they figured out what it was and why they had received it, and they started discussing the whole concept of "paying forward". I later heard her talking and brainstorming on what she would like to do. It wa exciting to hear others get excited about the "pay it forward" concept and hear their ideas."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Hope You Dance!

Here's how one person responded with an act of kindness I just had to share. I hope you enjoy it ~ Love, Kat.

I wrote an earlier story about a friend who was put on hospice care. I would visit her on Tuesday nights and we would talk and have some "girl time". I would do her hair on those visits. I couldn't heal her but for a night she felt beautiful! We would talk and laugh. And after her hair was done on one of my last visits I put lipstick on her lips and some color on her cheeks. When I held up the mirror for her to see how she looked she smiled at me and told me she was going to go dancing. I told her to be home before her family got up in the morning!

How nice to be at the end of your life and have a sweet dream of getting out of your wheel chair to dance! When I went for my visit this week the dancing was over. She was weak and in bed. I stood by her and did her hair as I promised I would. Our "girl time"was different. It was Tuesday, she knew I was there. I struggled to keep myself together . I knew deep inside that this was going to be the last time I could make her feel beautiful.

I didn't hold up a mirror for her to smile at her self because when I finished her family was standing there. Their smile said it all,they knew it was the end. They were happy I made their Mom look like "Mom" again. I cried as I left because I knew that I would not see her on this earth again. She passed away today and as sad as I am I know she no longer is dreaming about dancing, she is dancing ...with all the stars in the sky

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Joy Waiting To Be Discovered

A new video of a young Chinese girl playing the piano is about to make your day. And the footage may force you to examine the excuses you make not to tackle those major challenges in your own life.

“Souvenir D’enfance” by Richard Clayderman is not an easy piece to play. Yet the little lady delivers it beautifully, as if she were an accomplished pianist beyond her actual years.

Add to this the fact that she’s only been playing for three years.

But what’s most impressive in this video is what you see, not what you hear. The girl has no fingers on her right hand.

Makes you wonder what you’re not doing with the ten fingers most of us were born with.

Appreciate your day today, seek out joy, it's waiting to be discovered!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kindness With An Open Heart

Until your eyes are fixed on the Lord, you will not be able to endure those days that go from bad to worse.

Here's a wonderful story that I got in my email that inspires us all to fill a need if we are able! Enjoy and have a blessed weekend! ~ Kat

Cons happen a lot in our city and it can be hard to know who is really in need and who is trying to exploit other people's kindness.
Recently, I was finishing my work at home when the dog barked letting me know someone was at the gate. I rushed to see who it was and there I saw poor, fragile woman in her late fifties.
I said to her, "May I ask what you want?"
She replied, "Hello, ma'am, my name is Parvathy. My husband and I live in the slum nearby. We earn our living working at construction sites. A few days ago my husband tripped on the stairs while carrying a heavy load. He is badly hurt and hasn't been able to work for the past five days, and so we have no food. Now he is at home in bed with a high temperature. Please help me! I need to take my husband to a doctor!"
"Oh!" I said. "Please wait here."
I felt really bad about her situation but ... Was she telling me the truth or trying to con me for money?
Then I decided to help her. But first I said a simple prayer. "Dear Lord. You know how I earn my pennies, so please see to it that my hard earned money helps the real need. Amen."
I went out with a fifty rupee note and handed it to her. The moment she got the money she broke down in tears. She took my hand and said, "May God bless you abundantly, my dear! Thank you so much!"
I was so moved, and turned back to my work smiling.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Making Adaptations Work

Here's an interesting spin on just how birds are adapting to man intruding in their world. Truly beautiful and just another wonderful gift from God!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Overlooking Our Disabilities

This video showcases just how our disabilities can be overlooked. We simply need to stay focused on what we can do, not what we can't!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Handing Out Happiness

Here's a wonderful story to inspire you to find out what you can do today to make a difference. Trust me, it will pay you back in more ways than ever before. Enjoy ~ Kat

This said, I would like to share my story, not because I want to be thought well of by others but rather because I have discovered a recipe for happiness that I'm sure someone can benefit from.

So here it is.

It is hard for me to keep a smile on my face during certain times of the year and this is one of them. With the impending arrival of Valentine's Day I found myself thinking that if I didn't make a concerted effort to put myself in a good humor I would very quickly find myself sliding into depression.

You see, I haven't received chocolates, cards, flowers or tokens of love since 1999 when my husband was killed in a car accident. He always brought me flowers for Valentine's Day (and birthdays, and special occasions, and some days for no reason at all) and it's hard for me to see all of the advertising and reminders of the love that now only exists in my memories.

Anyway, yesterday was my day to run my weekly shopping errands, and I had noted that the grocery store had even gotten into the Valentine's Day Retail hype and was offering a dozen roses on sale for $12.00. So I bought a bouquet, knowing that my husband would want me to have them. I hoped that they would lift my spirits, although I truly just felt depressed at the idea of buying flowers for myself.

In Canadian retail establishments, stores do their part to encourage people to use recyclable totes rather than non-biodegradable plastic bags and most stores charge 5¢ per plastic bag.

While I was bagging up my groceries I noticed that the man bagging his groceries opposite me had purchased a large quantity of plastic bags rather than bringing recyclable totes.

I always bring extra totes so I figured that I would brighten up his day by performing a random act of kindness and helping the ecology at the same time by passing one along, and said: "hey dude, save a tree… you can have one of my bags". He just growled "that's not necessary" at me. I persisted by saying: "really, there's no strings attached, I don't want anything from you, I have extra and I'd be happy to give you one". I received another monosyllabic and emphatically grunted "NO" in response.

Rather than let this unpleasant individual put a damper on the good mood that I had worked so hard to cultivate, as I left, I smilingly wished him "a better day" (and got growled at again for my efforts) and went on to run the rest of my errands.

As I was driving to my next errand it occurred to me that other people might also be having a tough time, so as I went from store to store and met up with all of the sales people who regularly serve me, I pulled out a rose and wished them a Happy Advance Valentine's Day.

The lady at the cosmetic counter practically jumped across the counter to hug me.

The really overworked pharmacist who hardly ever smiles was so staggered by this simple gift that she had tears in her eyes and her smile practically lit up the entire back of the store.

All too soon my roses were gone, but then it occurred to me that somewhere along the line I had ceased having to force my good mood. By simply bringing a little sunshine into people's lives I brought joy into my own.

As children we have all been taught that it's better to give than to receive, but exposure to the unkindnesses of the world wears on us as we grow up. Consequently by the time we reach adulthood we have lost so much faith in our fellow man and even in ourselves that the childhood lessons are forgotten. It didn't surprise me that the unpleasant man at the grocery store refused my offer as modern society has taught us to be distrustful, and offers of assistance and even smiles are treated as suspect.

However, it shouldn't stop us from trying. We won't always succeed, but the successes DO outweigh the failures, and through the gift of a smile, a kind word or a flower, with any luck we will cause a chain reaction of happiness, tolerance and renewed faith

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Ah Factor

Here's a super cute video designed to make you go "AHhhhh!"


Thursday, April 28, 2011

See A Need, Fill A Need

Passing along this beautiful story to show my readers just how one seemingly small act can mean all the difference in another's life.

A couple of months ago I was renting a house to work from. I was fairly well set up, but didn't own a lawn mower and after a week or two realized I would have to find some way to deal with the growing grass! Funds were short, and I was on a fairly tight budget which didn't extend to paying a lawnmowing company.

I was thinking about this one Sunday as the "Mr Whippy" ice cream van pulled up outside on the street. I hadn't had a Mr Whippy ice cream for years, and on impulse I grabbed my coin purse, shook it to gauge affordability, and headed outside. On the pavement were three young boys aged around 10 years playing. I think a couple of them may have been from next door, but I was new there and hadn't really met anyone yet.

It was a hot day and I asked them if they'd like an ice cream. "Yes, please," they replied enthusiastically. At that moment a fourth boy joined them from the neighboring house. Yes, please, he'd love one too!! As the universe would have it, there was just enough change to cover five ice creams. As I left the van, I heard the lady serving the boys say, "that was a really kind thing that lady did for you boys. Don't forget to thank her." I smiled as I went inside to carry on working.

I left for work that evening, and didn't return until the Tuesday morning. As I drove into the drive, I realized something was different. Yes, my lawns had been mowed and my gardens had been weeded. I felt this enormous warmth rush into my heart and a smile stretch across my face. Instinctively, I knew my neighbors had done this for me, and went to thank them straight away.

How would they know that this act of kindness not only made a big difference to me, but it was also the catalyst for me to act further and set up a website focusing on kindness in our community which I am committed to developing this year. Thank you so much neighbors.